The White House Press Corps

Anna Marie Cox is critical of the White House press corps, describing the White House briefing room as “where news goes to die.”

Name a major political story broken by a White House correspondent. A thorough debunking of the Bush case for Iraqi WMD? McClatchy Newspapers’ State Department and national security correspondents. Bush’s abuse of signing statements? The Boston Globe’s legal affairs correspondent. Even Watergate came off The Washington Post’s Metro desk.

While the real news on Watergate came far more from journalists like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, at least White House correspondents such as Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw did put some pressure on Richard Nixon. Watching the softball coverage of George Bush in recent years was very disappointing when compared with these White House correspondents of the Watergate era.


  1. 1
    Fritz says:

    Well, yeah.  The politicos have figured out how to completely neuter the reporters in the press corps — threaten to cut off access.  Especially the “off the record” access the reporters crave. 

    I would wonder why the reporters even show up for the briefings until I read about the one that had been rehearsed and reporters still flung their hands up even though they knew they would not get picked to ask a question.  Then I realized — they are actors and they know it.

    Screw it — they should be required to get cards from SAG.

  2. 2
    GB says:

    –I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. Today’s MSM is a shadow of what it used to be when reporters saw themselves in opposition to entrenched power. There are very few investigative journalists left, replaced by a new generation which seems more concerned with their own career advancement over finding the truth to/of a story.
    –I wonder also, if there is a general decline in the ethics of Americans. The same lack of ethical standards which can lead to what we have seen on Wall Street, may also be what has led to reporters who seem more interested in “going along to get along”; that or it simply speaks to the laziness of the reporter who finds it much easier to print what’s handed out by a politician as “news”, rather than do the work neccessary to find a real story. 

  3. 3
    Robert L. says:

    Chris Matthews summed it up best when he said “ I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work,”

    He doesn’t see his job as to report, investigate, or inform: his job is to support President Obama.  Most of the people in that press room feel the same way.  Their primary task is to support the imposition of their political views and reporting is a secondary matter.

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